Summit looks at ways to protect the public from dangerous dogs

A summit on responsible dog ownership has considered ways to better protect the public from dangerous dogs.

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Kenny MacAskill
Kenny MacAskill

The Edinburgh event was hosted by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and brought together organisations including Police Scotland, the Dogs Trust, Guide Dogs Scotland, the Kennel Club, local authorities and the Scottish SPCA.

The event was announced by First Minister Alex Salmond in December last year after he met with the parents of victims of dog attacks.

Mr MacAskill said: "While the majority of dog owners are responsible, we are aware that there is a problem with a small number of owners who put others at risk because they fail to control their dogs properly.

"We have long-standing laws in place to help protect members of the public from dangerous dogs, including tough new powers for local authorities to impose dog control orders on out of control dogs.

"We want to ensure that local authorities make use of those powers to help prevent attacks happening. I also fully support police, prosecutors and courts in holding owners to account where the law has been breached."

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on measures such as compulsory microchipping. The consultation, which closes at the end of this month, seeks views on whether more can be done to ensure people are properly protected and to promote responsible dog ownership.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead, who also attended the summit, said: "We recognise that microchipping is an effective method of identifying animals and matching them to their owner, where there is an up to date register. Microchipping can help deal with stray animals and can also reinforce the responsibility of dog owners for their animals.

"The ongoing consultation will seek views on measures to improve responsible ownership and the practicality and effectiveness of widespread compulsory microchipping for all dogs."

Local government

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